October is classed as Free Wills Month: This is your chance to update or write your Will for free, if you are aged 55 and over. An up to date Will written by a solicitor ensures your wishes are respected. It also avoids tricky decisions and legal complexities for your loved ones. Free Wills Month allows you to provide for family and friends and leave a gift to your chosen charities too.
If you have written a will already, then you have made a great start in ensuring that your intentions, both financial and otherwise, are carried out as you would have wished after your death.
The majority of UK adults do not have a Will
Three in five (59 per cent) UK adults have not written a Will, new research from Canada Life uncovers. This compares to 31 million people, whose property, financial and other assets could be left to someone they have not pre-chosen when they die.
Of those who have not written a Will yet, 22 per cent are over the age of 75 and 39 per cent are aged 65-74. Troublingly, a third (32 per cent) of those aged 75+ said that they have not even started thinking about writing a Will yet.
So, we ask…
What better time to write a Will than in October 2020 when it is Free Wills Month for anyone above the age of 55?
Updating your existing Will
Keeping your Will up to date is, in our opinion, of equivalent importance to making the document in the first place. Undeniably, if you don’t ensure that your Will is as current as possible, it may cause serious legal problems after your death.
If, for example, you are unmarried at the time of writing your Will, but then you get married a couple of years later, and there is no mention of the marriage in the document, then there is a possibility that the whole document will be declared invalid, and that your estate will be dealt with according to the laws of intestacy.
In the same way, if you have a child after writing your Will, they may not automatically become a beneficiary even if you have named your other children in your will.
Witnessing a Will during Covid-19 Pandemic
The Ministry of Justice declared on 25 July that they were easing the requirements concerning witnessing a Will. Usually this has to be done by two people who are present when the Will is signed but this has caused some challenges given the lockdown. As a provisional measure the MOJ has legalised the remote witnessing of a Will.
This will make implementation of a Will simpler in these difficult times.
Contact JMR Solicitors this Free Wills Month for your Free Will
JMR Solicitors are taking part in the Free Wills Month in Manchester throughout October 2020 – Contact us if you wish to discuss a Will you have already written or would like to create a new Will throughout this period on 0161 491 3933.